By Lauren Elmore, Chief Executive Officer
Did you know that Firmatek is hardware and software agnostic? We believe in using the right tool for the job. You’ve probably heard us say that a lot. We approach our tool section by evaluating our client’s site needs and develop an action plan based on the jobs we are going to perform. From there, we select the best hardware and software to get the job done. Our clients work in various industries and have different site requirements. A one-size-fits-all solution isn’t practical for the industries we serve. Firmatek is a services-led, technology enabled company, which enables us to evaluate many types of hardware and software to find the best one for the job at hand.
We have used many different data capture tools over the years. From point and shoot lasers to mobile lidar to fixed wing, VTOL, and copter drones – we’ve used them all. More importantly than the breadth of tools we use is our ability to choose the right one. We feel confident in our tool selection because we continue to research and analyze, ensuring we are still using the best available tech in the industry.
When we adopted drone technology back in 2015, we did it slowly and methodically. We wanted to make sure we were still getting the right quality of data to our clients. It is all about choosing the right tools to serve our clients best. Providing quality data and superb analysis has always been a priority for the Firmatek team.
So what tools for data capture are in our current fleet? For terrestrial lidar, we have two options: Riegl VZ 400 and Renishaw Dynascan. The VZ is a stationary scanner that we use for our more complex mine planning and underground work. The Dynascan is a mobile lidar unit that is great for our basic stockpile and cut fill work at mines and landfills. In addition to terrestrial lidar, we also have a drone based lidar option. As we always do, we spent a lot of time researching and testing platforms to figure out which one was the best option for our team and our clients. We chose GeoCue’s TrueView.
Photogrammetric Data Capture Tools
In addition to lidar data capture, we capture a lot of photogrammetric data. For this, we have a fleet of drones, and as usual, we have an assortment of tools. We have a DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone in each of our field technician’s arsenal. This is the tool we most frequently lease to our clients who choose to collect their own data. We also have senseFly eBees in our fleet as our fixed wing option for larger areas we need to cover. Lastly, we use DJI M200s and Mavics for our work in the utilities sector and other industries.
As you can see, we have a lot of tools in the toolbox. We research and test products before deciding what piece of equipment to buy. But it doesn’t end there. For different types of jobs, we evaluate what piece of equipment makes the most sense to use.
Data Analysis Tools
The toolbox doesn’t stop at data capture for us. Once we collect the data, we provide comprehensive data analysis. Therefore, we need to make sure that we have the software tools in our toolbox that allow us to provide clients with the analysis that they need. The software we have been using for a long time, and continue to choose, is Maptek PointStudio. This is where we do the majority of our analysis for clients. However, we often use other tools, like Pix4D and Global Mapper, in order to create a final deliverable.
Finally, there is the delivery of our analysis to clients. Here, we have chosen to build our own tool for clients: Firmatek Cloud. We were unable to find a suitable platform to deliver our analysis to clients, so we built our own. Firmatek Cloud is the product of our experience with our clients, gaining their input and understanding their needs, and then delivering a platform where they can get their analysis and visualize the data from their operations.
At Firmatek, we use a lot of tools to deliver our analysis and support our clients. We don’t choose are tools lightly and we strive to find the best tool for the job, whether that is for data capture, analysis, or delivery. This gives us the flexibility to tailor solutions to our clients needs and serve a wide variety of types of clients.
About Lauren Elmore
Lauren is the Chief Executive Officer and part owner of Firmatek. She has a background in finance and law. Lauren is part of the investment team for Indiana based private equity firm, Elmore Companies. Lauren’s experience includes glendonTodd Capital, LLC where she worked on deals in the technology and real estate industries and as a Consulting Associate at Cambridge Associates, where she advised clients on asset allocation, manager selection, and spending.
Other articles by Lauren:
Use Technology to Avoid Common Stockpile Measuring Mistakes
3 Tips for Modernizing your Landfill and Waste Management Plan